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Superstorm Sandy

Mantoloking moves closer on dune showdown

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Destruction in Mantoloking, N.J., after Superstorm Sandy. Destruction in Mantoloking, N.J., after Superstorm Sandy.

WAYNE PARRY | AP

MANTOLOKING, N.J. (AP) -- The Jersey Shore town hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy is moving closer to using eminent domain to seize oceanfront land that it needs for a crucial protective dune project.

Mantoloking hired an appraiser Tuesday to determine the fair market value of land the borough is threatening to go to court and seize for the project. The borough must pay fair compensation for the land it acquires for the project.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs permission from about 128 oceanfront homeowners to carry out a beach replenishment and protective dune system in Mantoloking. All but five have signed easements.

In April, Mantoloking hired a lawyer to represent it in eminent domain cases, which could start in a few weeks.

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